Reviewing Wilbert Snow noted a few poems “which have a right to stand with the best things he has written”: “Come In,” “The Silken Tent,” and “Carpe Diem” especially.
Yet Snow went on: “Some of the poems here are little more than rhymed fancies; others lack the bullet-like unity of structure to be found in One wrote, “Although this reviewer considers Robert Frost to be the foremost contemporary U. poet, he regretfully must state that most of the poems in this new volume are disappointing. [They] often are closer to jingles than to the memorable poetry we associate with his name.” Another maintained that “the bulk of the book consists of poems of ‘philosophic talk.’ Whether you like them or not depends mostly on whether you share the ‘philosophy.’” Indeed, many readers do share Frost’s philosophy, and still others who do not nevertheless continue to find delight and significance in his large body of poetry. Kennedy delivered a speech at the dedication of the Robert Frost Library in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Like the monologues and dialogues, these short pieces have a dramatic quality.
“Birches,” discussed above, is an example, as is “The Road Not Taken,” in which a fork in a woodland path transcends the specific.
Frost himself said of this poem that it is the kind he’d like to print on one page followed with “forty pages of footnotes.” Frost’s fifth book of poems, is divided into six sections, one of which is taken up entirely by the title poem.
This poem refers to a brook which perversely flows west instead of east to the Atlantic like all other brooks.
This man has the good sense to speak naturally and to paint the thing, the thing as he sees it.” Amy Lowell reviewed and she, too, sang Frost’s praises: “He writes in classic metres in a way to set the teeth of all the poets of the older schools on edge; and he writes in classic metres, and uses inversions and cliches whenever he pleases, those devices so abhorred by the newest generation.
He goes his own way, regardless of anyone else’s rules, and the result is a book of unusual power and sincerity.” In these first two volumes, Frost introduced not only his affection for New England themes and his unique blend of traditional meters and colloquialism, but also his use of dramatic monologues and dialogues.
The distinction of this volume, the particularly a new self-consciousness and willingness to speak of himself and his art.
The volume, for which Frost won his first Pulitzer Prize, “pretends to be nothing but a long poem with notes and grace notes,” as Louis Untermeyer described it.